E-911 dispatchers hear doomed non-local motorist plead for help Friday night after driving off Saltillo boat ramp at end of Main Street
UPDATE, FEB. 26 — The Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified the driver as Scott Eugene Day Sr., 64, of Tennessee. The THP said he was operating a 2000 Ford Expedition that was traveling on Main Street and went into the Tennessee River. Day was wearing a seat belt.
(Ed. note: The original story has been edited to reflect the driver’s age as 64 instead of 63 as first reported.)
ORIGINAL STORY — A 64-year-old man died Friday night after driving his vehicle into the Tennessee River at the Saltillo boat ramp.
The Hardin County E-911 call log shows the man called 911 himself to plead for help before drowning.
The call came in at 9:50 p.m. and the 911 location system was able to accurately fix his location in the water at the end of the ramp, according to the call log.
The log shows that the man was able to speak for about 15 seconds, and the log comment says, “Caller was saying, ‘Help me I’m in the river,’ and then lost service.” Video at the ramp shows the vehicle entering the water at moderate speed.
The man’s identity has not yet been released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, but it is known that he is not from the Hardin County area.
Hardin County Fire Chief Melvin Martin said Saturday morning he is saddened by what he described as a preventable death. He urged that a solution be found to prevent this type of tragic circumstance – which has happened several times previously – from repeating.
“This is very sad. This man died unnecessarily after apparently not knowing he was driving into the river – he was pleading for help when he called 911. This situation is heartbreaking not only for his family, but also for the 911 dispatchers and responders listening to his cries for help, but knowing there was nothing we could do,” Martin said.
He added, “I will be working with the city to come up with a way to block the direct road into the river, or this will only continue to happen. I know of five lives lost there since I have been county fire chief, all preventable.”
Main Street in Saltillo is a straight, roughly half-mile road that leads directly to the Saltillo Landing boat ramp at the Tennessee River. Historically, the straight roadway to the ramp was due to the ramp serving as a ferry landing. The ferry was retired years ago.
Several agencies responded to the incident, including the Hardin County Fire Department Dive Team, HCFD Haz-mat team, HCFD Saltillo (Dist. 1), HCFD Station 12, Saltillo Fire Department, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Tennessee Highway Patrol.
This Is So Sad! Praying 🙌 For His Family And I Hope And 🙏 Pray That They Get That Problem Solved, Before There Are More Accidents!
Simple put a led lighted sign a mile above the boat ramp flashing also ….. put up post as u come in to the parking lot that has reflectors with arrow pointing to the the parking lot add led lighted sign there flashing displaying boat ramp aswell .will prevent future accidents
Prayers for all the people involved with him. Prayers for this man’s family as well
I think we need flashing lights down there !
This is so sad ,it shouldn’t have ever happened, it shouldn’t take 5 or 6 deaths to know u have a problem at this location!! God be with this man’s loved ones and friends at this time!
I agree. This shouldn’t have had to happen to so many people just to get finally noticed. I hate lawsuits but it’s time to put pressure on this area. I’m so saddened to even imagine how his family feels. Should be blocked off at all times especially in rainy weather. I’m taking courses of how to get out if you can, SAFELY! This is jus a horrible incident. Not accepting Accepting accident because if the locals knew about this, it should have been fixed a long time ago. God Rest his soul and Console his Families.
Should be workers coming up with a plan as we discuss this NOW!!!!
I agree. This shouldn’t have had to happen to so many people just to get finally noticed. I hate lawsuits but it’s time to put pressure on this area. I’m so saddened to even imagine how his family feels. Should be blocked off at all times especially in rainy weather. I’m taking courses of how to get out if you can, SAFELY! This is not jus a horrible incident. Not accepting anymore Incidents:Not Accepting accidents because if the locals knew about this, it should have been fixed a long time ago. God Rest his soul and Console his Families.
Should be workers coming up with a plan as we discuss this NOW!!!! Vengeance is mine saith the Lord and He will come like a mjghtyForce and hold ALL responsible and accountable.! Say your prayers REPENT and GET TO WORK AND PREVENT FUTURE PREVENTABLE DEATHS
Concrete barrier to require a 90° turn. Pretty simple
How many more souls will we lose unnecessarily. This is beyond tragic and I hope the family takes this much further. It is incomprehensible and town leadership needs to be accountable…
Prayers for the family and all first responders & anyone else involved! So so sad!💖
Flashing lights shining on the water and far enough ahead of water to get attention of drivers. A BIG lit up sign, speed bumps. There are so many things that could help. This is so very sad, who expects to be driving down Main Street and run right into the river?
A simple barrier placed far enough back to allow boats to launch but where anyone coming down the street would have to drive around it slowly should be effective.
The ferry did not cross from that ramp but one over on the right of the parking area.
This article is incorrect!! The first was questionablely preventable. The next 5 were murder plain and simple!!
So sorry for this unnecessary loss
Prayers for the family n friends
Something needs to be done with these roads that lead to the river!!
This is a tragedy !!! There is an open road going straight into a river that is not marked for people not from that area. That might be the most ridiculous situation I have ever heard of for this day in time. What is wrong with the principals that should know that this kind of accident is preventable if prior warning was in place. Why have previous incidents made the proper authorities to “”FIX”” this problem. A good lawyer will fix it right away !!!!
Scott was such a great guy. He and his wife volunteered at state parks. Scott could fix just about anything, saving the parks money. God bless Scott and his family.
Any and everyone who has the power to do something about this should be fired and charged with manslaughter. This was truly preventable and it’s obvious no one even cares to have done anything to prevent this tragedy. A simple sign with flashing lights could have saved lives. Why are there elected officials sitting on their arses doing nothing while people die. Money can be spent on River Days , parades and other events, but not to save lives. Why kind of people sit back and do nothing. Obviously the people who were murdered at this site were totally unaware that the road goes straight into the river. Prayers for the family of this poor man who died begging for help while drowning in a totally unpreventable situation. I truly hope any and all people who had the power to have done something to stop this situation suffer mentally with the images of this man begging for his life.. Prayers also for the 911 dispatchers who had to take this call.
So sad…..terrible loss…I know it’s dark that way, and there are signs posted but the speed at which u can only go? Plus the stop sign….. unless this person never been that way, super scary….flashing lights may help — maybe a chain link after hours… who knows….